This is a continuation of the series on the ban on Post-UTME by a Nigerian law court. In part one, we traced the origin of the exam while identifying its nature. In case you missed that, click here.
Conflicting stances by defendants
The defendants in the litigation (JAMB, NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education) have taken various stances on the permissibility of the conduct of the Post-UTME in the past.
EduCeleb.com recalls that after banning the conduct of the Post-UTME in 2016, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Education minister, Adamu Adamu later allowed its conduct in 2017 citing the initial ban as a mistake.
When it banned the exercise in June 2016, Adamu noted that a second examination was unnecessary after the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). He was also worried about the added financial burden on candidates and their parents to register for the examinations by various schools.
That happened under the leadership of Professor Dibu Ojerinde as JAMB Registrar. The meeting a year later was under Professor Ishaq Oloyede. It was at the 2016 combined policy meeting on admissions to Universities, Polytechnics and other higher institutions in Nigeria organised by JAMB.
Adamu said, “Our universities shouldn’t be conducting another examination; if they have any complaint against JAMB, they should come to the Ministry of Education and we will look into it.
“If JAMB is qualified to conduct the Computer-Based Test and they are conducting the test , then there should be no need for students to sit another examination to get admission.
“As far as I am concerned JAMB has built a level of confidence in terms of conducting the UTME. A situation where universities go and conduct other examinations is unnecessary.”
But on 22nd August, 2017, Mallam Adamu admitted that the 2016 decision to ban the Post-UTME was done in error and said he was “ill advised to take that decision.”
Perhaps, his 2016 ban on Post-UTME was based on impulse. A group of protesters believed to be students had stormed the venue of the policy meeting to protest the continuous conduct of the Post-UTME.
The protesters who blocked the entrance of the NUC office back then called on the government, National Assembly and other major stakeholders to put an end to the conduct of Post-UTME .
Adamu, in the ban lifted on Post-UTME at the 2017 meeting, added that corruption in the system was also responsible for the initial decision to ban the Post-UTME exercise.
He, however, directed that no institution should charge any fee above N2, 000 per candidate in the exercise and warned that it must be corruption free.
His directive was not followed through as a number of schools charged candidates exorbitant prices.
Exorbitant prices of Post-UTME
Where there was an attempt to abide by the Minister’s directive during the 2017 Post-UTME, the institution indirectly added some sort of payments.
For example, at the Federal College of Education, Obudu, (FCE Obudu) Post-UTME screening exercise for degree programmes in programme affliation with the University of Calabar cost candidates N3000. This covers Aptitude Test/Screening fee of 2000 and portal charges of 1000.
But at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), the cost of the post-UTME included N2,000 for the screening, N1,500 for past question papers, and N1,500 for owners of the internet portal through which the registration is done. Besides, the school also added N1000 designated as bank charges.
Candidates that chose the Lagos State University (LASU) paid N5,000 for the internal Computer-Based Test (CBT) conducted with respect to that. The same amount was charged in 2016.
Both Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu and Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti charged candidates N3,500. That’s aside some hidden fees, on the part of ABSU that made the payment rise to N5000.
Candidates at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) and the Federal University, Lokoja (FUL) paid N5,000 as Post-UTME fee while they also sort out bank charges, where necessary.
However, institutions such as the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo and the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) did not charge candidates more than the N2000 stipulated.
The same was applicable at the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) which did not conduct an examination. Candidates paid N2000 for their results to be screened for admission.
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) officially billed N2000 for Post-UTME too but not without adding N400 which stands for bank charges.
There is obviously that lack of regulation in the amounts charged and the conduct of the exams by individual tertiary institutions despite the ministerial directive.
To be continued!